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Dental support worker

Dental support workers are part of the dental health team. See how they help to treat patients and give advice on looking after teeth. Find out how you could become a dental support worker.

Training and qualifications required

There are no set entry requirements for dental support workers. Employers usually expect good literacy, numeracy and IT skills. They may ask for GCSEs or equivalent qualifications. Employers often ask for relevant work experience. Even where this is not specified, it would be an advantage if you have worked in health or social care, either in paid employment or voluntary work. There are sometimes apprenticeships in dental support roles. You will receive the training you need to work as a dental support worker. This includes an introduction to the department and its systems and procedures , information about dentistry and oral hygiene and using the equipment.

Expected working hours and salary range

Dental support staff working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. You would typically start on AfC band 2. Most dental support workers in the NHS work standard hours, which are likely to be around 37.5 a week. They may work some evenings or weekends. Terms and conditions will usually be different for dental support staff working outside of the NHS.

Desirable skills and values

Dental support workers need to reassure patients, be careful and methodical, follow instructions carefully, record data accurately, pay attention to detail, explain clearly to patients and work with all types of people.They also need good communication skills and may need skills in speaking to groups.

Prospects

With further training, experience and provided you had the appropriate qualifications necessary, you could apply for training in the other dental care professionals roles such as dental nurse, dental hygienist or dental therapist.
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